President Barack Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday.
CLEVELAND - Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Cleveland are holding special services as cardinals in Rom begin the process of electing a new pope.
Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon celebrated a noon Mass at St. John Cathedral where hundreds of Catholics offered their prayer for cardinals who will decided over the next few days on the next leader of their church.
In his homily, Bishop Lennon asked "that God may choose a pastor for us -- a priest -- who is truly holy and truly caring of God's people."
The traits vary widely among Catholics when it comes to what they want in a new leader.
"Welcome kids and young people back into the church that have gotten away from it," said Brian Rozcicha.
Jack Palumbo stressed, "the church really needs to get a grip on some of the inappropriate conduct by priests."
"Just a good spiritual leader, someone who will direct the church in the right direction," said Bill Johanni.
No one expected a pope to be named Tuesday, and as Bishop Lennon pointed out, the conclave could easily go three days before a decision is reached.
"Pope Benedict," said Bishop Lennon," was voted on the fourth ballot. So they just got into the third day and the first vote on the third day -- he was elected."
The cardinals continue voting Wednesday morning with two ballots in the morning and two more in the afternoon.
Pope Francis' pared down papal wardrobe of sensible black shoes and a white cassock so thin you can see his black trousers.
New surveys commissioned by the Vatican show that the vast majority of Catholics in Germany and Switzerland reject church teaching on contraception, sexual morality, gay unions and divorce, findings remarkable both in their similarity and in the fact that they were even publicized.
Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.
A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.
Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned Feb. 28 and met with successor Pope Francis.
Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.
Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon and other area leaders react to the election of Pope Francis I.
Latin Americans are reacting with joy to news of the first pope from the hemisphere, bursting into tears and cheers.
Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.